Rishabh Pant-led Team India are already 2-0 down in the ongoing five-match T20I series against South Africa. The men in blue, in absence of the regulars, are struggling to make an impact in the middle overs, with the ball.
Aakash Chopra, the cricketer turned commentator and analyst of the game, thinks the Indian team can include Umran Malik in the playing XI for the third T20I if they want to improve middle-over bowling concerns.
In another analytical video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra suggested a few changes in the playing XI, that could end up in India’s favor. Chopra, on Arshdeep Singh or Malik’s inclusion, stated:
“Can Umran Malik or Arshdeep be brought in? I am not going to advocate any change but if any change needs to be done, I will say Arshdeep, although no one has picked up more wickets than Umran Malik in the middle overs in the IPL. So you can get Umran if you want to address the middle-over woes.”
Aakash Chopra also feels that Singh should be the preferred option, but the former India batter thinks that Malik could somehow go ahead over the left-arm pacer. Chopra said:
“Arshdeep is ahead of Umran in the pecking order. But often when pressure comes, the team tries to go with different-different combinations. So it could be a possibility that Umran plays, it can happen in today evening’s match.”
Besides, both Singh and Malik received their national call-ups after their excellent deliveries in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. Malik, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) sensation beat the batters with his raw pace, while, Singh left the mark with his brilliant death-over spells.
“Play him ahead of Axar” – Aakash Chopra backs Ravi Bishnoi to play 3rd T20I
Chopra furthermore prefers Ravi Bishnoi over Axar Patel and feels he has an opportunity to showcase his skills at Vizag, where leggies have done better, in past. Chopra stated:
“Can Bishnoi be played ahead of Chahal or Axar? I would say play him ahead of Axar because leg-spinners’ numbers are very good on this ground. A lot of runs are generally scored in Vizag but leg-spinners get a lot of wickets. Going with five bowlers can be slightly risky but what can you do, things are not working out.”
Famous for his commentating skills, Aakash Chopra moreover thinks that Ruturaj Gaikwad should be given another opportunity, despite his not-so-impressive stint with the national team. Chopra quoted:
“Will you play Ruturaj Gaikwad now or think about one out of Deepak Hooda or Venkatesh Iyer? I will say give one more match to Ruturaj Gaikwad. If he doesn’t do well here, then you may look for Venkatesh Iyer because he is also sitting outside.”
More to the point, Gaikwad, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener has not scored big in the series, so far and is looking for a vital breakthrough.
Written by Prachi Pisal